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Extend the Life of Your Painted Walls — What to Use to Clean Walls

Adorable, but grubby, fingers of your children touching the walls. Pets slobbering on the baseboards. Scuff marks from who knows what. It’s amazing how quickly your beautifully-painted walls can end up looking worn, dirty, and uncared for.

The fact is, if you live in your home, you’re going to get dirt on your walls. But how can you clean your painted walls so they maintain that freshly-painted look? 

Wall Paint Maintenance



You can do a little preventive maintenance on your painted walls by regularly keeping them free of dust. Use the soft brush vacuum attachment on your walls, and then wipe them down with a cloth-covered broom or mop that has been sprayed with a dusting agent. You can also use an electrostatic dusting wipe. When you see a new fingerprint appear, wipe it away as soon as you can.

How to Clean Walls Painted with Latex Paint

Before you clean your walls, remove dust with the above method. Then, dip a clean sponge in a mixture of warm water and a nonabrasive all-purpose cleaner. Gently rub the wall with the sponge, especially where fingerprints tend to congregate. For spots that won’t come out with this method, make a paste of water and baking soda, and use a nonabrasive pad to wipe the area.

How to Wash Walls Painted with Oil-Based Paint

Dampen (don’t soak) a sponge or cloth with a white vinegar mixture, and rub the wall gently.

What to Use to Clean Flat Painted Walls



Semi-gloss or enamel paint can handle washing well. But no wall is harder to clean than one that has been painted in flat paint. Its porous texture clings to dirt for dear life, making your job one of great frustration. Unfortunately, when you leave stains untreated, they just get worse and worse. So get going on this method quickly.

Take note: Harsh cleaners or brushes may remove the stain, but they also may remove some of the paint, leaving a conspicuous spot.

When cleaning flat painted walls, start with the gentlest solution and move up until you find the one that works.

  • First, try a clean, soft rag soaked in warm water. If this cleans up the smudges, you’re done! If not, move it up a notch.
  • Next, use a melamine-foam-based product, like the Magic Eraser, on your stains. If your wall is dark, this may leave behind a white residue, so you’ll just need to follow up by gently blotting the area with an absorbent white towel.
  • If this doesn’t work, use a foam cleanser, but test it on an out-of-sight area first (perhaps behind a couch) to see if your wall can handle it.
  • If you still need to move up in strength, try a solution of 1 tablespoon of laundry soap mixed with a gallon of warm water. Again, test in an area that isn’t seen. This can be too harsh for many paints, so proceed carefully.
  • Try a mixture of 1 cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda with one gallon of warm water, and use a soft sponge.
  • If none of these solutions work, you may need to repaint your wall.

Clean walls have a way of making a house feel sparkling clean, and that’s something we can all appreciate. If you need interior painting services that give your home a fresh look, give New Life Painting a call at (805) 937-9836, or contact us online for a free estimate.

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